Last week this column was a mixed bag. I'd like to think it was still helpful, as I recommended guys like Julio Jones, Calvin Johnson, James Jones, Julius Thomas and even Alex Henery. Granted, a couple of those guys were obvious, but it goes to show you that just because a player has a down week doesn't mean you shouldn't consider them the following game. On the other hand, there were guys I discussed - Maurice Jones-Drew and Eddie Lacy - that left their respective games early due to injury. Of course, injuries are practically impossible to predict and hopefully the rest of the recommendations made up for it. Let's give it another shot this week.
Bargains Of The Week
Here are some players whose price doesn't appear too low, making them a bargain to put into your lineup with your high priced studs. This could also be a player in the midst of a breakout season and the price still doesn't reflect what they've done, especially early in the season.
Alex Smith, KC, $6700 – Thursday night's game appears to be the perfect storm for Smith, who has had early season success and faces a soft Philadelphia defense in Week 3. Philly has surrendered 721 passing yards (second most in the NFL) and five touchdowns through two games and won't have a full week to prepare for first-year Chiefs coach Andy Reid's offense. Smith benefits from having one of the better pass-catching backs in Jamaal Charles (he has 71 receiving yards so far) who has the ability to take it to the house every time he touches it. Smith has also thrown in some added fantasy value this season with his legs by rushing for 82 yards. At some point, one of those run attempts is going to find the end zone. That could very well be this week in what should be a high scoring game.
James Starks, GB, $5600 – After Eddie Lacy's injury, Starks looked more than comfortable in an offense he's played in for years. Now healthy, Starks finished Sunday's game with 168 yards from scrimmage including a touchdown. Teams will be keying in on slowing down Aaron Rodgers, which should help open up the running lanes for Starks. The Bengals are not the easiest defense to run on, but given Starks is at least $2700 cheaper than the top-10 running backs on FanDuel this weekend, I think he's a nice value.
Eddie Royal, SD, $4500 – Given his strong performance through the first two weeks of the season, it's hard to believe that Royal is priced as low as a receiver can go on FanDuel. Granted, it's obvious he won't keep this level of productivity up, but he doesn't need to for him to earn his current price. San Diego will be down Malcom Floyd on Sunday and a rejuvenated Philip Rivers should be giving Royal over double-digit targets again this week. Keep in mind that FanDuel is a 0.5 PPR format adding to Royal's value.
The Big Boys
Here are the expensive players who have favorable matchups and should be able to earn their price this week.
Matthew Stafford, DET, $8500 – I'll give the Redskins defense a little bit of a break since they've played two of the toughest offenses in the league – Philadelphia and Green Bay – to start the season. However, it's tough to ignore the fact that the Redskins have given up over 1,000 yards in total offense in only two games. Matthew Stafford is an above average quarterback in fantasy given the volume of passes he throws, and Robert Griffin should put up enough points to keep both teams throwing into the second half. Pairing up Stafford with that Calvin fellow against Washington's porous secondary might be wise too.
Vincent Jackson, TB, $7900 – Jackson is the seventh highest priced wide receiver, which will likely make him overlooked. Some of the other high-priced receivers don't have as good of a matchup as Jackson, who will take on the New England defense. Through two games, Jackson has had 24 targets total and only a penalty on a long touchdown prevented him from having a big Week 2. Despite being the sixth-best wide receiver in fantasy last season, most fantasy players still undervalue Jackson. Don't be one of those people.
Seattle, $5700 – I don't think there's any question this week which defense is the top play. Over the past few seasons, Seattle has arguably been the most dominant team at home and welcomes in the hapless Jaguars, who are likely the worst team in the league. All of the defenses are priced in the $5000-$5700 range and I see no reason to try and skimp here to save the $700 unless you're looking for a pot odds play in a tournament. Outside of that, I think you have to use them as this could turn into a game similar to Seattle's home tilt against the Cardinals last season.
FanDuel/Rotowire $1,500 Week 3 Contest
RotoWire $2000 Contest on FanDuel.com.
Our friends at FanDuel are running RotoWire exclusive. For Week 3, we have a HUGE $1500 contest that costs just $10 to enter. The contest has a cap of 165 entries and we expect it to fill up quickly, so don't delay.
Title – Rotowire $1500 Contest
Date - Sunday, September 22nd
Buy-in - $10
Prize pool - $1,500
1. Simply CLICK HERE to sign up for an account at FanDuel.
2. Pick you team within the $60k salary cap. Consisting of QB, 2xRB, 3xWR, TE, K and D.
3. Watch the live scoring on FanDuel during the games and see how your picks perform up against other RotoWire readers.
The contest is live and is open for registration today.
CLICK HERE to sign up for your account and register for the RotoWire $1,500 contest on FanDuel.com.